Photo (c) 2024 Bryan Cote Photography www.bryancote.com


The Rapids wrap-up their 2023-2024 season with 34 points in the standings, earning 1-point last weekend in an overtime loss against the Fredericton Red Wings.

As mentioned in last week’s report, the organization will now focus on the positives for next season and is already preparing for the upcoming draft. The team has only three players not returning for the 2024-2025 campaign due to age eligibility. Hopefully, everyone will be back in the lineup and strive for a playoff run as a number of teams from the Eastlink North division will be in reconstructive mode.

Looking at the Rapids’ record may be hard to grasp the potential and talent that surrounds this team. We have seen however major improvements in many facets of the game since the start of the campaign.

If there is one thing where we have seen progression from month to month, it is the way the players have played with more confidence and how they were able to stick to the game plan established by their coaches. They have embraced their defensive responsibilities remarkably well, as well as their roles on the team while understanding that in order to succeed, you need a collective effort from the very first puck drop until the last stoppage of play.

For that, the coaching staff must be applauded for their fine work. They have done a great job teaching young players how to adapt to the junior A level. There were some tough times, but also some gratifying ones. And it’s by learning through mistakes that the experience level becomes where it should be in order to become a successful team.

Considering that some players had a great second half of the season, there is a reason behind that turnaround. Coaches have done their best with the elements at their disposition and had their team well-prepared for each and every game.

It will be tough once again watching the outside as other teams compete in the playoffs. However, for those who have been watching and covering this team for the past six seasons, there is reason to be optimistic.

Finally, kudos to the fans! At the end of their last home game on Friday night, a 6-2 defeat to Miramichi, they were over 900 that stayed on to applaud their Rapids for their efforts all season long. That must have been a satisfying and grateful moment for coaches and players alike. That truly showed how great a fan base that we have in Grand Falls and why this is a great place to play junior A hockey.

Patrick Thibault


Record: 15-33-4 = 34 points

Home record: 8-16-2 = 18 points

Away record: 7-17-2 = 16 points

Goals for: 150 (12th in the league)

Goals against: 214 (7th best record in the league)

Differential: -64 (11th in the league)

Penalty minutes: 826 (9th team with the fewest pen. min.)

Power play goals: 34 (tied for 10th in the league)

Power play goals against: 47 (9th fewest goals allowed in the league)

Power play efficiency: 18.3% (11th in the league)

Shorthanded goals: 4 (tied for 7th in the league)

Shorthanded goals against: 5 (tied for 7th in fewest SH goals allowed)

Penalty kill efficiency: 73.6% (11th in the league)

*Following are the team leaders among different statistical departments:

-points: Jérémy Boulanger (49)

-goals: Ethan Johnson and Jérémy Boulanger (15)

-assists: Jérémy Boulanger (34)

-power play goals: Jonah Leard (5)

-power play points: Ethan Johnson (22)

-shorthanded goals: Zacharie Charest, Tristan Sanchez and Colin Parker (1)

-winning goals: Zacharie Charest (3)

-goals against average: Adam Lecours (3.47); Will Hodgson (4.67)


*The playoff are set in the Eastlink North division. Matchups will be:

Fredericton vs Edmundston; Miramichi vs West Kent

In the Eastlink South division:

Yarmouth vs Summerside; Pictou County vs Amherst

*Carter McCluskey of the Fredericton Red Wings has won the scoring championship. With a record of 47 goals and 59 assists for 106 points.

*Nicholas Sheehan of the Edmundston Blizzard finished with the best goals-against average among goaltenders with 2.29.